3 Ingenious Ways to Cook With Coffee

Photo: Stocksy/Dreamwood-Mikhail and Ludmila

When most people think of coffee, they think of drinking it, whether it's black, over ice, Bulletproof, or egg coffee (yep, it's a thing). But it turns out coffee works really well in food, too, and can add depth, spice, and smokiness to a dish—or 100 of them.

To find all those recipes, look no further than The Marley Coffee Cookbook, from coffee boss Rohan Marley, founder of Marley Coffee and son of the legendary Bob Marley. Written by Rohan Marley in collaboration with chef Maxcel Hardy III and food writer Rosemary Black, The Marley Coffee Cookbook includes stories from Marley's life as well as the aforementioned recipes, which are all about bringing coffee notes into food.

That includes putting some java into the vinaigrette for a couscous salad, spiking corn on the cob with coffee butter, and seasoning vegetables with coffee for some amazing meatless tacos (you can find all those recipes below). And since September 29 is International Coffee Day, there's no better time to celebrate than with a cup of joe made just how you like it paired with a meal infused with those same flavors.

Keep reading to see three ways to cook with coffee.

Photo: The Marley Coffee Cookbook

Indian Couscous Salad With Coffee Vinaigrette

Yields 4 to 6 servings


3 cups vegetable stock or broth
1 tsp saffron threads
Pinch of salt
6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb Israeli couscous
2 Tbsp curry powder
8 yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
8 red cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 red onion, diced
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed and chopped
1 Tbsp Marley Coffee Spice Blend
1/3 cup microgreens
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Rainbow microgreens, for garnish (optional)

1. In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the vegetable stock to a boil. Stir in the saffron, salt, and three tablespoons olive oil. Add the couscous, stir, reduce the heat to low, and cook for five minutes. Drain the couscous through a fine chinois. Transfer it to a large serving bowl.

2. Add the curry powder, yellow and red tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, Marley Coffee Spice Blend, and microgreens. Toss with the remaining three tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with rainbow microgreens if desired.

Photo: The Marley Coffee Cookbook

Coffee-Spiced Vegetable Tacos

Yield: 6 tacos


1 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
½ yucca, cut into thin strips
1 carrot, cut into thin strips
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp agave nectar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing the grill pan
1 zucchini, ends trimmed, sliced
1 yellow summer squash, ends removed, sliced
2 ears fresh corn, husked, kernels scraped from the cob, cobs discarded
1/4 medium-size onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch kale, cleaned and chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed and chopped
1 Tbsp Marley Coffee Spice Blend
1 tsp ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 corn tortilla shells

Queso fresco
Sour cream
Fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges
Grilled or roasted scallions (optional)

For the slaw

1. In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, yucca, and carrot. Add the olive oil, lime juice, and agave nectar. Toss again until all ingredients are well mixed. Cover and refrigerate.

For the tacos

1. In a medium-size skillet or sauté pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil for one minute. Add the zucchini, summer squash, corn, onion, garlic, kale, green bell pepper, cilantro, Marley Coffee Spice Blend, cumin, salt, and pepper. Sauté for two minutes.

2. Preheat a grill pan over medium heat for one minute. Brush the pan with olive oil. Place the tortilla shells on the pan for one minute, or until very warm. Transfer to a serving platter and fill with sautéed vegetables. Top with slaw. Garnish with queso fresco, sour cream, cilantro, lime, and, if desired, grilled or roasted scallions.

Photo: The Marley Coffee Cookbook

Fire-Roasted Corn With Coffee And Herb Butter

Yields 4 servings


4 ears fresh corn, husks peeled back or removed completely
4 tsp coconut oil
Kosher salt to taste
1/2 lb unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp Marley Coffee Spice Blend
1 bunch fresh basil, stemmed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp black sea salt
1/2 cup queso fresco
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed and chopped

1. Preheat a grill to medium. Brush the corn with coconut oil and season it with kosher salt. Grill the corn for about four minutes per side, or until nicely charred and fully cooked.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, blend the butter, Marley Coffee Spice Blend, basil, garlic, and black sea salt. Brush or spoon the seasoned butter onto the corn. Top with queso fresco and cilantro.

Here's what to do when you've had too much caffeine. Plus, how to keep that coffee order as healthy as possible.

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